Olympic-themed social and emotional learning activities | Caroline Maguire


Who is not fascinated by the athleticism, leadership and character of Olympic athletes? Young children imagine themselves on these mats, fields and courts, so don’t miss the opportunity to use the Olympics to create social skills learning activities this summer.

Join the millions, if not billions of parents who strive to help children re-engage with their peers after nearly two years of distance learning.

Social and interpersonal skills build on emotional skills. Children must be able to use these skills effectively in order to contribute to a team, resolve disagreements, and coexist peacefully with others.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Help Kids’ Rusty Social Skills When The Pandemic Ends

Socio-emotional learning skills and gross motor activities

When we stop to reflect on the skills involved in playing and participating in sports, we realize that there are many socio-emotional learning (SEL) skills that impact a child’s success.

Passing a soccer ball involves physically kicking the ball… and making eye contact with a teammate, coordinating their location, etc. We need self-regulation and control to demonstrate good sportsmanship, and we use analytical and abstract skills to play by the rules.

Sports, which combine physical activity and play, represent an important environment for intentionally developing important skills such as teamwork and cooperation, empathy, planning and problem solving, to name a few. -a.

However, it is important to remember that developing these skills requires intentional effort and a structured approach.

Tips for Incorporating Social-Emotional Learning Skills While Watching the Olympics

The best way to integrate socio-emotional learning activities – and gross motor skills – is to apply these skills to real contexts.

When watching the Olympics, look for examples of these behaviors:

1. Model appropriate behavior

Athletes shape and promote the holistic development of young athletes.

Have you seen an athlete congratulate another on a victory or a good performance? Ask your child, “How do you think he is feeling right now? Do you think it was easy or difficult for him? ”

Make sure you show good character and good decision making yourself.

2. Self-representation

Simone Biles surprised the world when she retired from competition due to mental health concerns. Discuss this choice with your teenager.

Would they do the same? What do they think of this decision?

3. “Thinking out loud” or “internal thinking”?

Did the athlete say out loud what he should be thinking at the time, or did he keep his thoughts quiet?

It’s a good way to stress the importance of self-regulation. Could the athlete have thought, “I’m really sad that I lost, but I’m going to take a deep breath”?

4. Praise

What exactly did one athlete say to another as a compliment? Try to read their lips. What can you learn from the athlete that can be used to encourage positive interactions?

5. Read the room

What does the energy look like in track and field before a race? Are the athletes anxious, happy, excited, nervous?

RELATED: 5 Ways To Help Your Teenager Make Genuine, Lasting Friendships

6. Social spy

Can you detect the tension or the joy? How is it managed? Is this something that your child might display as well?

7. Motivation

Devoting so much time and energy to something is not easy for many children and teens. Talk about what it takes to be on the Olympic stage. Share your sports experiences to make things relevant.

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8. Relationship building

The hallmark of a high quality sports experience is the positive and sustained relationship of a young person with a coach and teammates.

9. Celebrate

It’s not just about winning. The effort must also be celebrated. Give sincere and deserved praise and use words that refer to specific actions.

These are just a few ways to bridge the gap for returning students. This summer should focus on fun activities and social education.

If our children are not ready and they cannot express what is wrong, it will be much more difficult to learn standard subjects like reading and math.

We might have taken some things for granted before COVID, but experience has also shown us the resilience our children have developed.

We can all see changes in kids since they’ve been with their peers this summer. Now we have a new appreciation for school and being together.

RELATED: How to Improve Your Social Skills (& Be Less Goofy With The People You Love)

Caroline Maguire, ACCG, PCC, M.Ed. is a personal coach who works with children with ADHD and the families that support them. For more information, visit their website.

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This article originally appeared on carolinemaguireauthor.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

This article originally appeared on the author’s website. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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